Trump’s gift to National Park Service mocked

The Associated Press

Washington, D.C. —  President Donald J. Trump donated his first quarter salary – $78,333 – to the National Parks Service (NPS).

White House press secretary Sean Spicer handed an oversided check for $78,333.32 to Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke during a recent briefing.

The billionaire businessman turned president had promised to forgo his presidential salary. By law he must be paid, so he is donating the money. Taxpayers can write off such donations, potentially lowering their income taxes.

Zinke said he’s “thrilled” at the president’s decision to give money to an Interior agency, something he says Trump informed him about recently. He said he will use the money to help on long-deferred maintenance projects on the nation’s 25 battlefields. Outstanding maintenance projects on those sites amount to about $229 million, Zinke said.

Trump’s has proposed cutting 12 percent from the Interior Department’s budget.

In response, Michael Brune, executive director of the Sierra Club, called the donation a publicity stunt.

“If Donald Trump is actually interested in helping our parks, he should stop trying to slash their budgets to historically low levels,” Brune said. “This publicity stunt is a sad consolation prize as Trump tries to stifle America’s best idea. It’s a distraction that falls far short of the $12 billion needed to address the current backlog of park maintenance.”

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